Hammer Toe

A hammer toe is simply a contracted or bent toe. In the early stages, it can be stretched (extended) or flexed (contracted). Over enough time, the toe or toes can become stiff, and even manually trying to straighten them out can become difficult and painful. An end stage hammer toe can fuse into a deformed position from arthritis.

Treatments include accommodative shoes, pads, and surgery to straighten the toe when the condition becomes unmanageable.

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What is Hammertoe Surgery?

Hammertoe surgery is an out patient procedure performed by Dr. Bennett to treat an abnormal curve or bend in the middle joint of the toe. This acquired deformity often makes moving the affected foot and toe painful, and difficult to fit comfortably in a shoe. Often, the affected toe will rub against the top and inside of a person’s shoe resulting in a corn or callus, and in extreme cases can ulcerate. If conservative or palliative care such as trimming the callus off and padding the area, or orthotics, or toe stretching exercises fail to ease the discomfort, hammer toe surgery is often recommended.

During the surgery, the foot or just the toe involved is anesthetized, and Dr. Bennett will make an incision centered over the top of the affected toe. Depending on the severity of the deformity, there are various types of procedures that can be performed to correct or straighten the toe. Various instruments are used to expose the middle toe joint and remove or remodel bone as needed. Additional incisions may be made to prevent the toe from bending downward. Surgical hardware such as pins may be placed in the toe to aid in the healing process. Small absorbable and non-absorbable sutures will then be used close the surgical incision, and are the skin incisions are typically removed 10 to 14 days after the surgery.

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